Zhijian QIAN   钱志坚

Assistant Professor of Art History
New York City College of Technology,
City University of New York


Dr. Zhijian Qian is an art historian, critic, curator, translator, and art investment adviser. He received his doctoral degree in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

What was your first job, and how did it shape your life?

My first job in the United States was working as a Art Director in a gallery. The two-year experience of working with art pieces is a kind of spiritual dialogue between me and the works. Of course, the conversation with collectors helped me to have a better understanding of art out of the school.

What keeps you awake at night?

I usually sleep tight. Keeping calm makes a better life.

What books are currently on your bedside table?

Most of my readings are related to modern art. I almost finished Foucault’s Philosophy of Art: A Genealogy of Modernity by Joeseph J. Tanke. I also read some books which are not art-related but really deep in thought, like A Tale of Love and Darknessby Amos Oz.

When do you feel most free?

Every time when I finish a project, like an article, a show, or typing in students’ final grades into school system. It only lasts a short amount of time. After the break,  I will start a new project really quickly.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?  

People can’t truly understand themselves. Everyone has different perspectives. Human life is a process of communicating, confronting, cooperating and compromising with oneselfin different conditions, situations, contexts and moments.